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2014 World Cup: We need tall players to deal with aerial threats, says Ghana coach

Published on: 22 June 2014
Ghana have lost several aerial challenges at the 2014 World Cup

By Ameenu Shardow

Follow on Twitter @alooameenu

Coach Kwesi Appiah believes the Ghana team needs tall players to deal with their vulnerability to aerial balls - a weakness displayed by his team on a number of occasions at the 2014 World Cup.

The Black Stars once more again conceded a goal through a floated ball into its danger area in the thrilling 2-2 draw with Germany on Saturday.

The team suffered from a similar frailty in their shocking 2-1 defeat to the United States in their opening Group G game.

Ghana's defence has been very fragile to long balls despite having decent heights in Jonathan Mensah and John Boye – the two central defenders of the Black Stars.

World Cup rookie John Brooks capitalized on this weakness to head in USA's winner in the opening clash.

Mario Goetze ghosted in behind to nod in Germany's opener off a high ball in the thrilling 2-2 draw on Saturday as did Miroslav Klose who used this frailty to his advantage to tap in an earlier won aerial challenge by the Germans to fetch the equalizer.

The Ghana trainer has acknowledged this deficiency in his team and says perhaps he should be looking to select tall players in future to deal with this threat which has proved to be Ghana's downfall at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“That was one of the major concerns when we were planning our tactics against the Germans,” Appiah said.

“Most of them are really tall and they used it very well.

“Our boys really did well but we unfortunately gave one goal away through high balls.

“Unfortunately Ghanaians are not born tall so maybe next time we will get taller players in the team.”


This article has 37 comment(s), give your comment
  • boro says:
    June 22, 2014 04:02 pm
    Ori... Or whatever you call yoursef for some of us football is just our passion. If you care to know the Nation Ghana has received a lot from me as a farmer, a teaher, as a miner, as an explorer, as an investor and cannot stop calling them. For about 15 years now this nation has received from me an average of 600 ghana cedis every month you imbecile. Do not think that all what we do is just coming to this site. I am here because nothing entertain me more than football news. For all you know i am old enough to be your father. Kwasia son!
  • Viper says:
    June 22, 2014 12:41 am
    Yes,we need tall,fast defenders.We also need energetic young midfielders who can keep and pass the ball.We were caught napping on several occasions,easily giving balls away in our own half.We have to be a lot tighter and move the ball quick.Please advice against selfishness,please advice against selfishness,please advice against selfishness. The defence was surprisingly good today,they should keep that up. Rabiu is really the on-song hero in the team but he always comes off,a shame for him. Afful too was surprisingly good.
  • selfamde says:
    June 22, 2014 12:45 am
    We don't need tall is players to deal with aerial challenge my coach!! We rather needs awareness and good positioning from our defenders!! Dede ayew is one of the shortest players in the WC and in Europe but he is ironically one of the best headers of the ball in europe!! He can out jump tall defenders to score goals and the ques is why? Is all due to his good positioning and awareness! Again, doesn't our technical team learn at all? Prior to this match, I made mention several times on this platform how 4 out of 6 goals conceded in the WC has come out of SET PIECES esp corners and I was thinking our technical men also knew this! This is really amazing and I also made mention of the fact that, we have to FLOOD OUR DEFENSIVE THIRD WITH BODIES otherwise Ghana ll score from a corner and it seems am a PROPHET! When am we going to learn our lessons!
  • selfamde says:
    June 22, 2014 12:50 am
    Again, klose has used Ghana to break or tie with ronaldos WC goals! Amazingly, klose scored his 15th record making goal against ghana and ronaldo also scored his 15th record breaking goal against Ghana! Ronaldo made that history in Germany and klose has also made his history in Brazil both using Ghana! I always say that football history repeats itself and another history has been repeated! Ghana needs FOOTBALL HISTORIANS AND NOT JUJU MAN!
  • Boro says:
    June 22, 2014 12:51 am
    I thought this is your job so who are you telling this? When you decided to drop the best defence pair of Ainooson, Adusei and Nuru of chan who are all tall players for Adomah and Inkoom who may end up not being useful in this tournament . In every team whenever there are set piece you see all the tall players dropping to defend but that is different in the Ghana's team. Sometimes you see players like inkoom defending against drogba in a corner kick. Can you imagine this?
  • Nana Adwoa T. Kese says:
    June 22, 2014 01:11 am
    I told you people this coach is tactically bankrupt. I repeat John mensah play more mins in his new team then John boye, even sumaila would have perform better on air then boye period. Listening to his excuses make me sick to my big whole (Tweba).
  • papa says:
    June 22, 2014 01:17 am
    is this man akwasi appiah many times many ghanains pleaded for vorsah and john mensah to be included when it became clear they were fit.even when akaminko got injured why didnt you call a tall convinced now akwasi appiah is just a man that hopes.he dont have no plan.the players been helping him all along
  • piwi says:
    June 22, 2014 01:29 am
    Ghana is coming home the juju had failed us.
  • texas says:
    June 22, 2014 01:41 am
    Nonsense coach AA......this is not about taller defenders! It's about the fact that you did nothing about defending set pieces and corner kicks even after the US lose. I blame you and the selfishness of Jordan Ayew for the 2-2 results. That dude is just out to make name for himself but not the team. That was Ghana's win. And those of you saying Gyan is not a world class striker should now bow your heads in shame. Gyan is one of the most clinical strikers in world whether you like it or not.
  • Jah Prophet says:
    June 22, 2014 01:51 am
    the answer to this challenge is to let the goalkeeper comes out to punch aerial balls where lateral defenders guard the post. who selected the team? it is not you, AA; didn't you see tall defenders? we have allowed 2 avoidable aerial goals. the early goal syndrome has stopped. let's also stop aerial goals. maintain the same tactical play against Portugal. my tactical selection against Portugal. -------------------- Fatau ------------------------------ Essien ------- Boye ------ Jonathan ------- Afful --------------- Badu ---------- Rabiu ------------- Inkoom ------------- Kojo Asamoah ------- Dede Ayew ------------------------- Gyan ----------------------- Essien helped Real Madrid at right back before. Kojo Asamoah can fall back to help the left back. Dede must play free role behind Gyan. Gyan and Dede can partner in goal scoring. Ronaldo operates thru' right back so we need another defender to cover Essien shd he overlaps.
  • Boro says:
    June 22, 2014 01:53 am
    Don't forget the two glorious opportunities he missed. Those ones half fit Suarez will utilise. May be Gyan is at the lower limit of the world class strikers?
  • kwasi nkroma says:
    June 22, 2014 02:28 am
    thank you Mr kwasi appiah .but I go against your comment .our problem is not because we don't have tall defenders. but we don't have good accuracy to the aerial balls .and I humbly suggest that we do those correction as soon as possible .thank you.Mr Fatau you have prove me wrong well done and may the sky be your limit ameeeeen try and be much better against potu.
  • Ghfuo says:
    June 22, 2014 02:34 am
    Onfact aa is very stupid. Is sumaila not taller than boye? Why did u leave schlupp and yiadom? Boye should have been subbed at halftime. Rabiu shouldn't have played at all. We could hve won this game
  • Ghfuo says:
    June 22, 2014 02:37 am
    AA is our problem AA is the one giving us all these problems. Wat did Badu come n do in this game? Mensah is the reason we didn't conceded more goals. I don't know why boye was even allowed to continue in in the 2half. Kpb is not committed. We don't need him. Acquah would have hustled better. Aa is mentally constipated. Imagine kasa on the wings today. He would have gotten into the 18nuff times! We needed for today. How are we going to beat Portugal with more goals? It's possible but not easy . Boyee should have seen that Goetze had gotten inside of afful. Before the cross was sent. He went totally for wats going on from afar. Rather than paying attention to what was beside him, goetze We should won this game. We lost from the bench/coach subs. Boye messes up against usa and u give him a start again? When I insult aa. Ppl say I'm disrespecting, but look! We played with vigor and hustle...but aa that hardheaded coconut is why we didn't win. U use kasa on the wing. U replace rabiu with acquah or essien. U remove boye for sumaila. Dauda was watching the player in the second goal, not the ball. Boye played well in the firsthalf. it his mistakes what cost us. In the 20th minute, his tackle on muller should have been a penalty. Then u remove atsu for wakasso? Another poor decision. Look at the year atsu had with his club this or and how he played?. Wakasu barely played any games this season. AA brought in 3 subs. Only jordan did smthing better. Badu n wakaso didn't impact the game in any way. Defence wins tournaments, but u didn't make any changes to defence(boye). AA why did u bring in Badu, wakasu n jordan. 2 mids and 1 striker. Wen u know that defence wins tournaments! This is must win game. Uhve sumaila, acquah, essien n warris all better than boye, wakasso, Badu, jordan. In a must win game? Octopus sef predict give us, still we no fit win? Ebei aa! In the 20th minute, his tackle on muller should have been a penalty. In the first 30min, not even 1cross from the left! Our left was porous. Kasa is not a leftback!
  • Ghfuo says:
    June 22, 2014 03:01 am
    In the first 30min, not even 1cross from the left! Our left was porous. Kasa is not a leftback! On the second goal, why wasn't he marking the far post. Like afful was doing?
  • Ghanaman says:
    June 22, 2014 03:16 am
    You are an IDIOT!!!!
  • Ken says:
    June 22, 2014 03:35 am
  • A concerned citizen says:
    June 22, 2014 03:41 am have taken those words from my mouth..Thank you
  • Kwame Larbi says:
    June 22, 2014 04:12 am
    Your answer to tall players is foolish, teach the goalkeeper to be in the other end of goal post during cornie kicks and be ready to punch goalkeeper shouldn't stay in the middle of cornie's kicks. Learn from US ,Germany.
  • Eben says:
    June 22, 2014 04:27 am
    @boro; enough of that, if u’re criticizing Jordan for his selfishness fair enough. Why do insult his father, it’s the same man whose other son, ayew, has put on great performance in both games. I’ve lost every respect for u for attacking a man who has absolutely nothing to do with that. Why don’t you talk about the two glorious chances Asamoah gyan wasted in first half, we could’ve equally won if he had score one of those chances in the first half. What is prove that he’ll have scored even if Jordan had given him the ball, a useless striker who has one of the poorest convention rate.
  • Dingdon says:
    June 22, 2014 05:00 am
    AA is has proved that he is tactically bankrupt, he has no clue what he is doing. Great coaches make substitution to change games but the way AA substitute is like a blind man at work.
  • Kofi USA says:
    June 22, 2014 06:45 am
    need taller Platers? ....Who selected these short players for the team? Lets take him into bushes and give him strong lashes. I have never seen a coach who selects his own players for a tournament and runs into player crises before the tournament even starts.
  • Ghanaman says:
    June 22, 2014 07:21 am
    Dauda was excellent despite conceding those goals,quick reflexes! Now we Hv to beat Portugal come rain or sunshine.
  • ?2U says:
    June 22, 2014 08:14 am
  • orison says:
    June 22, 2014 09:16 am
    @boro ur very idiot abuafunu, what is the contribution of ur whole family to mother Ghana? is not ur fault I blame ur father for waisting his sperms to bring forth to an idiot like u.
  • woodini says:
    June 22, 2014 10:58 am
    I think the problem is AA and his technical team. They have these talented players and do not know how to use these players to get results. They don't learn from what work well for them and if they do, they quickly abandon it and opt for worst options. AA should reflect on the formations and team selection he used to demolish Zambia and Eqypt in the qualifying rounds. He used gyan and warris up front and these two combined very well and scored goals. He employed KASA on the left wing to attack and retreat quickly to help the left back to defend. In the attacking role, he supplied the balls to gyan and warris who always interchange to confuse the opponent defenders .KASA also cut in to the middle to shoot at goal and he scored a wonder goal against the Zambians in Kumasi. KASA is the playermaker and make things happen.This has worked well. Again on the right, he employed Dede as right wing to attack and retreat to help the right back to defend. Dede also cut in to help the attack and shoot at goal. I think this has worked well for Appiah. Why cant AA stick to this formation? Ghana need KASA upfront to supply the balls to gyan.
  • ben says:
    June 22, 2014 11:02 am
    this jordan ayew boy is really selfish,he should be deleted from the stars squard,i bet u what he did will really make gyan never 4give him.
  • ben says:
    June 22, 2014 11:05 am
    we dont have time to read all this....
  • Pinkus says:
    June 22, 2014 11:50 am
    Is the coach now complaining about lacking tall players? Well, he left them at home chose to go with shorter ones. What about the Awal Mohammeds, the Abeiku Ainooson, Kwabena Edusei? Yesterday Arful showed that he was a better material than Opare. His cross earned the first goal through Dede. Opare never gave one perfect cross in his entire 90 minutes against USA and yet the coach kept him on the field. Yesterday even after we conceded a goal from corner kick from a goal post that was abandoned by Kojo Asamoah, I thought he would have learned his lessons. In the next corner kick which the Germans narrowly missed Kojo was still missing at the spot he should have guarded. Please Ghana, prepare on how to man the post during corner kicks. What we saw in the last two matches is very very unfortunate. We need improvement.
    June 22, 2014 11:54 am
    I'm overwhelmed by the weird cynicism of the pseudo coaches. They would never understand AA because they know nothing about coaching despite their conceited pretensions. Were these fastidious critics not the same doomsday prophets who prophesied massacre by the Germans? AA is African and black. But he is the only coach who has led Ghana to secure at least a draw with Germany. Did we all not tout our group as the Group of Death? What at all do we want?
  • lion-fire says:
    June 22, 2014 12:15 pm
    Stop making excuses coach. A and deal with the real problem that led to the goal. Uncontested header and no marking at post
  • Bishop says:
    June 22, 2014 12:19 pm
    Fabu you re wonderful.Thanx for these Wise words.If Gh loses They complain,should they draw they Wld complain,even when Gh wins they still complain and say they were lucky.What can be done to satisfy this folks.If you think Its easy then go get a four aside team to coach.Then tell us your achievement.If you cant then shut up.
  • Jah Prophet says:
    June 22, 2014 01:41 pm
    AA needs constructive advice. we love him so we'll continuing to rebuke him for repetitive mistakes. Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica play with 5 defenders. Strong defense wins tournament not strong attack. Look at Italian 2006 team with strong defense. France 1998 strong defensive team. A student of coach Milo who is defensive minded, why AA refused to use strong defense of Chan team? U-20 strong defense team? why? didn't u know Essien is not fit? KPB not committed? Jordan immatured? why are u still experimenting? this is WC proper, stop experimenting and unnecessary surprises in your selection. U shd have had your 1st team long time ago but U keep on experimenting. why? loosing games cause heart attack; people die......please!!!!
  • Carlos Danger says:
    June 22, 2014 01:55 pm
    Guys AA should go period. The players are carrying him. We need a new coach..his player selection and substitution is bad. Waris should have been in the game not Jordan. Adomah do not belong in the final 23. F. Acheampong should have taken his place. Vorsah and adusei should have been selected. They needed to work on defending corners and set pieces as Portugal will be banging on that.
  • Franknaros says:
    June 22, 2014 02:20 pm
    Somebody tell Akwasi Appiah to just shut his mouth and stop adding insult to injury. Nonsense! What about a BETTER COACH instead of taller defenders??? Maybe he wants a science laboratory set up to produce tall players for him.Rubbish!
  • Carlos Danger says:
    June 22, 2014 03:06 pm
    We need a new coach .. What do we expect from a chew and pour coach who has no practical training but training on the job.
  • OGYA says:
    June 22, 2014 04:29 pm
    All I can say is that this coach needs to look in a mirror. He had Isaac Vorsah who could have been fit by now to help Ghana but because of his arrogance decided to go with midgets. We already have Tall defenders so what is he talking about?